Saturday, 16 October 2010

Maximum wage in the public sector

The coming Con-Dem coalition's cuts in the public sector will mean that councils face making severe cuts in their services. As well as doing all we can to fight those cuts by challenging the warped mentality of the Con-Dem government, councillors will also have to accept that those cuts will be happening.

We need, therefore, to establish some principles on which those cuts are made.

The first principle is to cut from the top in order to protect frontline services. Wrecsam Council is showing a principled lead at the moment - 25% of strategic officers have already been cut and the next tier is facing a more severe trim.

Another principle that Plaid has advocated nationally is the idea of a maximum wage, particularly in the public sector. If it's good enough for the John Lewis Partnership and Barack Obama's public sector reforms, a 10:1 ratio of highest to lowest pay in any one organisation should be good enough for the Welsh public sector.

Wrecsam council's lowest paid full-time worker currently earns £12,700 a year so the logic is that the chief executive should earn 10 times that. Surprise, surprise, the chief exec currently earns £107,000 plus an unspecific amount for being the county's Returning Officer at elections. If top officers want a pay rise they will have to justify it by raising the pay of the bottom tier of workers' pay.

Most if not all other chief executives in Wales earn far more than that ratio - it's time councils throughout Wales got real and realised that the pay Wrecsam offers its top officers is in line with a reasonable rate for the job.

1 comment:

The Druid of Anglesey said...

Couldn't agree more, Whitegate.